Dealing With Acromegaly Doesn't Have to Be Complicated
For most people, growth ends when you reach adulthood. The body reaches final size and the body stops releasing the hormones that causes growth. However, in some cases, people don’t entirely stop growing. There are situations where people still grow due to hormone release. When this begins again in adulthood, it’s known as acromegaly.
This is a hormonal disruption and disorder. Middle aged adults can find that parts of their body’s bone structure continues to grow out of all proportions. What makes this condition so tricky is that it is a slow progression. Many people don’t even notice the growth of their bones, since it happens over the course of years. For that reason, it’s good to know the variety of potential symptoms and what can be done about acromegaly.
Causes of Acromegaly
As mentioned, acromegaly is caused by an unexpected release of the hormones that cause growth. These hormones come from the pituitary gland. However, it’s not normal for the pituitary gland to keep producing long after it should have stopped. So why does it occur?
Typically, a tumor will form on the pituitary gland. This tumor then releases the excess hormone into the body. The word tumor can make people fear for their safety. However, these tumors are not cancerous tumors. Sometimes, other tumors located elsewhere in the body can cause the release of a different type of hormone which in turn causes the pituitary gland to start producing hormones for growth.
Symptoms of Acromegaly
Acromegaly has many different symptoms that can be felt. There are a huge number of different potential symptoms due to the amount of the body that is affected. Some of the potential symptoms include:
- Weak Muscles
- Enlarged Feet, Hands and Facial Bones
- Coarse Skin
- Oily Skin
- Skin Tags
- Deepened Husky Voice
- Severe Snoring
- Impaired Vision
- Enlarged Tongue
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Enlarged Organs
- Loss of Interest in Sex
- Excessive Sweating
- Uncomfortable Body Odor
This is just some of the potential symptoms that can occur. The main symptom is the enlarging feet, hands and facial areas. This often goes unnoticed due to the slow progression. Therefore, discovery is difficult.
Acromegaly can result in some serious complications. It’s possible to end up with osteoarthritis, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, sleep apnea, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal cord compression or even more issues. Therefore, treatment is important and should be started as soon as it can.
Typically, surgery is one of the best options. Pituitary tumors can be removed through surgical means. This surgery is called transsphenoidal surgery. A surgeon will go through the nose and remove the tumor from the pituitary gland. By getting rid of the tumor, the pressure on all the areas around the gland is relieved and the brain can function properly again. Unfortunately not every tumor can be fully removed. Partial tumors can still force the production of too much hormone.
In these cases, medications are used in an effort to manage the amount of growth being caused. The first type of medications work to simply lower the hormone levels. In some cases, this actually reduces the size of leftover tumors. There are some medications which work to stop more hormones from being created by the pituitary gland. These drugs have to be taken by injection directly from health care professionals. Finally, there are some drugs that work to counteract the effects of hormones.
A final treatment option is radiation treatment. This is commonly used for cancerous tumors, but can be used on non cancerous ones like these. Radiation therapy is commonly used after a tumor has been partially removed. It can keep the remaining cells from growing, and often help eliminate any leftover tumor cells.
No information on this website should be used to start the use of dietary supplements and vitamins, natural and herbal products, homeopathic medicine and other mentioned products prior to a consultation with a physician or certified healthcare provider.